This handout was written to help you learn
about anxiety and how this can be treated. If
you have questions or concerns, please feel
free to call the number listed at the end.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a state of mental tension that can
have many symptoms. Below are ways in
which an anxious person may look or feel.
Worrying all the time
Tired or fatigued
Have trouble concentrating and
Impatient or irritable
Muscle aches and tension
On guard or on edge
Shaky, jumpy, jittery, or trembling
Loss of hunger
Your body may have some or all of these
Hot or cold spells
Frequent need to urinate
Vague feeling in the pit of the
Cold, clammy hands
Racing or pounding heart
Flushing or paleness
A lump in the throat
Rapid breathing and heart rate, even
What Is an Anxiety Disorder?
There are many types of anxiety disorders.
These can affect daily living and may cause
us to avoid things in life.
ξ Panic Disorder: sudden
onset of intense panic (panic
ξ Generalized Anxiety: unreal
fears about two or more life
ξ Agoraphobia: fear of being
in places where escape might
be hard or embarrassing.
ξ Social Phobia: an unreal fear
of embarrassing oneself in a
ξ Simple Phobia: an unreal
fear of a certain object, event
ξ Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder: thoughts that will
not go away and/or actions
that are done over and over
ξ Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder: anxiety that comes
after having a severe physical
or psychological trauma.
How Are These Treated?
Medicines and/or therapy are the most
common treatments. In therapy, you can
receive help to face the things you fear.
Your anxious feelings will go away when
you can handle your symptoms without
trying to escape the situation.
Antidepressants and antianxiety drugs may
be useful alone or with therapy.
Prompt treatment is important. It is often
delayed because people may not think these
symptoms are an illness.
Anxiety Disorders Center at the UW
Hospital and Clinics: (608) 263-6100
National Suicide Prevention line
Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Dane Co.
NAMI Dane County
2059 Atwood Avenue
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Summarized from: Anxiety and Its Treatment by John H.
Greist, MD, James W. Jefferson, M.D. and Isaac M. Marks, M.D.; DSM III R. Copyright © 8/2016 University of
Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4526